So, after years of cajoling and campaigning by varied sections of its user base, it appears Facebook will finally be rolling out a ‘Dislike’ button. According to Business Insider, CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced the news during a Q&A session at the company’s HQ.
“We have an idea that we’re going to be ready to test soon, and depending on how that does, we’ll roll it out more broadly,” he said. “I think people have asked about the dislike button for many years. Today is a special day because today is the day I can say we’re working on it and shipping it,”
He also added that Facebook wants to add it to give users the option to express feelings other than ‘liking’, which does make sense; Facebook is more and more becoming a platform to share world news and events, and often ‘Liking’ it isn’t quite the desired response. “Not every moment is a good moment”, Zuckerberg said.
This feature has the potential to drastically alter the social structure of the platform, particularly for brands. At present, the worst thing a brand could expect to happen to their posts on the site would be to receive negative feedback in the form of comments, or – often worse in the eyes of Social Media Managers – be ignored completely.
This is hypothetically all about to change – a dislike button will give brands a tangible number for an audience’s disapproval, and whilst this may cause a few egos to be bruised, it should prove particularly useful when it comes to analysing what types of content your following does, and does not want to see.
Of course, as with anything of this nature, this announcement has its sceptics. Some have questioned whether this is all a big PR stunt. The feature could be rolled out to a select audience only or be an entirely opt-in feature under the guise of a testing phase, only to be pulled shortly after. Either way, as of this morning (16/09/2015), #DislikeButton and #MarkZuckerberg and both trending worldwide on rival platform Twitter, so if this was indeed all in the name of PR, congratulations Mr Zuckerberg, it worked!